The George Cross medal, awarded to the NHS in England by the Queen in recognition of the ‘courage, compassion and dedication’ of NHS staff and volunteers during the pandemic, is now on display in Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries at the Science Museum.
The George Cross, the UK’s highest civilian gallantry medal, also commemorates the work of the NHS since it was established in 1948 and is on display alongside objects which highlight the NHS’s 75 year history.
The medal is given for acts of the greatest heroism or of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme danger, and this is only the third time the George Cross has been given to a collective body, rather than an individual.
Visitors to the Science Museum can also explore items collected during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Medicine galleries and learn more about the worldwide effort to develop vaccines in Injecting Hope: The race for a COVID-19 vaccine, an exhibition which showcases objects and stories from this global challenge.
In 2024, the medal will continue on its tour, going on display at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester (February to June) and then at the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford (Summer 2024).
The George Cross played a key role in the celebrations to mark the NHS’s 75th being processed into Westminster Abbey as part of a service for 2,200 NHS staff, volunteers and partners.